New Zealand is notorious for its scenic, spectacular landscapes and unspoilt natural beauty, making it hard to pinpoint just five of the best natural sites to visit as there are just so many to choose from! With 14 national parks spread throughout the country and a whopping one quarter of New Zealand’s land being protected it’s not that surprising that it is one of the cleanest and greenest countries in the world. So awe-inspiring are the natural landscapes of New Zealand, they were famously used during the filming of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, emphasising the other worldliness of the scenery you will encounter there.
New Zealand’s Fiordland is definitely not one to be missed! The Fiordland national park can offer you some of the most dramatic and beautiful landscapes you will ever see in your life. The landscapes remain frozen in time, many are over 100,000 years old. Towering glaciers and mountains act as home to ancient rainforests and are seen reflected into shimmering, peaceful lakes deep in fiords. Be sure to visit Milford Sound, this fiord wasn’t dubbed ‘the eighth wonder of the world’ by Rudyard Kipling for nothing!
2. Sutherland Falls
The Fiordland National Park is also home to New Zealand’s largest waterfall, the Sutherland Falls. There are few waterfalls in the world as impressive as the Sutherland falls which measures in at 580 metres tall The water is fed to the falls from the Lake Quill which in turn is fed from nearby glaciers. It is a 2 mile trek from the Milford track in Fiordland to get to the Sutherland Falls by foot. If you would like to experience the falls a bit differently then there are many helicopter tours that operate in the area.
3. Mount Cook
Mount Cook is the highest peak that you will find in New Zealand and stands amidst a crowd of spectacular glaciers, other ice formations and beautiful alpine scenery. It can be located in the Aoraki Mount Cook National Park in the centre of New Zealand’s South Island. Here you will feel dwarfed by the sheer immensity of the surrounding landscape of New Zealand’s Southern Alps.
4. Wai-O-Tapu Geothermals
Wai-O-Tapu is home to New Zealand’s fantastically colourful, active, geothermal waters. The pools and springs are naturally brilliantly coloured in greens, reds, oranges, yellows, purples, white and black. The rainbow of colours found in the hot springs is caused by mineral salts that are found in the water like arsenic, gold and silver. The geothermal area consists of large craters, mud pools, bubbling springs and steamy grounds. Don’t miss the spectacular, vibrant, bubbling Champagne pool Make sure that you arrive early to experience the Lady Knox Geyser erupting daily at 10.15am.
5. Abel Tasman Coast
If paradise beaches are your thing then the beaches of the Abel Tasman coast are pretty close to paradise Full of hidden coves, golden sands and crystal clear blue waters the Abel Tasman coast is situated in the Abel Tasman National Park on the South Island’s northern shores. This area has some of the best weather conditions in New Zealand. As well as spectacular beaches the area boasts weird and wonderful rock formations. There are many popular coastal walking routes to explore the area and look for local marine wildlife like seals, dolphins, penguins and whales.